THE SOVIET ATOMIC ENERGY PROGRAM NIE-11-2-59

Created: 6/16/1959

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AVI ON At INTELLIGENCE UMBER

TBE SOVIET ATOMIC ENERGY PROGRAM

Submitted by the

jhw;ctobkstbai, intklmokncs '

The foBoving Intelligence orgaatirUlons participated b* the ol thtt estimate- Tht Centre! inl^Jl^enct Agency, thr ffaitonal Securitynd the UitcU'gtnceol the Department* of Xla.lt, the intj, the Nary, the Air force. The Jointd the Atomic Energy Commission.

Concurred in by tht IJNITKn stater !NTRl.woence board

onune tSi$m The Director ofand Re-teareh, Department ofhe Auisiant Chief of Slaf} for Intelligence, Department of the Army; theChief of Naval Operations fur Intelligence.of the Nuty; the Assistant Chief of Staff,USAP: the Director for InteiUgeoee. The Joint Staff; the ato tht Secretary of Iff It roe. SpecfaiVtt Atomic Energy Con<mfirtox Representative to the L'SID; and the Director of ihe NalkmaX Setvrtty Agency. TheIHrcctoi. Pedsrcl Biircnu of Investigation, nhttahtcd. Ike.urfr.it outside of tltnf

DATE: 7

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tor intelligence, joint Staff, tor t)

of Intelligence, AGC, for the Aton

Director, FBI, for the Federal B

to the Secretary of Defense, SpecialDefense

c; the NSA, for the National SecurityAssistant Oi rector for Central Reference. CIA, for any other

Agency

iyxjpy may be retained, or destroyed by burning in accordance with applicable" security rcgiuWions. or returned to the Central Intelligence Agency by arrangement with ihe Office of

Lfly

When an estimateriod not initherdestroyed, vetani

:

'file ti'.le of thisMtl separately from She tesT?SaftuId be classified; CONFIDENTIAL.

WARNING

This mntPi'iiTN^ontsius Information ajfrdlng theicteiWtof the United Utates within ihe. mcr.nlne <TPsJJic csyionasi! law TiUe ia, USC. titos. '. mission or rcvtfr.Uouo miyci

DISTIMBtniOH

Whitee&arbamt oisitnient of Defense Of*ratii>7is CuoT<Vnz-1ia% Board Atoi'lr. KnrrjyI-^rtsril*ruAfljft; Cne-itMy

m ATOMIC ENERGY PROGRAM

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This ustinwu: supersodM4lie,8 ando,K.

This esliiPrtU-piipi.icd and agreed upon hy the Joint Atomic Energy Intelligence Cam-BUtlrt. which is coiniKjsuxi or rcprcwnUilfWB af the Departments of Stole, Army. Navy. Air Korce.tterK? Convnlssinii, Th? Joint Staff, the National Security Agency, the Assistant In Ihr amnion olpecial Operatkma, and Ihe Centra! Inlrllipence Agency. See rpprfipi-lklc fuolikbiis. however, for Ihe dissenting views of Ibc Army. Navy. Air Force. Tbe joint Stall snd UM AMistu.it to lla Secretary of Dei'eme, Special Operations. The FBI ab-stainud. iha subjec. bttttj obiKldc of its jurisdiction.

A group or expert, consuiuiula working with the Joint Atomic Energy Intelligence Committee luis reviewedliwile and generally concurs with it. The. catlmule. with footnotes, was iipprovnd by Die United Slate* in lei licence Board on IB June MM).

TAtttE OF ^LUSTRATIONS

Page

l>'lguve ( tetirnatexi Cumulative Production of Fissionable

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the soviet atomic energy program

THE PROBLEM

To estimate tho current hiatus and probable future course of the Soviet atomic energy program to

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

n contrast with Khrushchev'sstatements of nuclear sufficiency, there is substantial evidence that the USSR isigh priorityof Its atomic energy program Although the atomic energy effortoriented primarily toward military applications, emphasis on non-military uses has continued to increase since the formation6 of the Chief Directorate for the Utilization of Atomic Energy. However, centralized control of nearly all aspects of tlie program lias beenunder the Ministry of Medium Machine Building, one of three industrial ministries which were allowed to retain all-union status in spite of the general Soviet program for decentralization of industrial control.

TECHNICAL CAPABILITIES

2 The emphasis on nuclear technology in the Soviet Union has continued during the past year with steady pressure on nearly all scientific frontiers. Advances have stemmed both from the USSH's own efforts and from prompt and extensive exploitation of open Western scientific work. Nevertheless, it is estimated that Soviet basic research in nuclearwhile highly competent infields, is not comparable in diversity and scope to that of the US.

PROPULSION REACTORS Naval and Marine Applications

he first Soviet nuclear poweredship, the icebreaker LENIN, will be put into operation during the latter halfased on the status of reactor technology evidenced in the LENIN and at nuclear electric power plants,ubmarine propulsion reactor could have been available latelthough no firm evidence of the exist-once of Soviet nuclear submarines has

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nd that

iiainocl lu one or possibly as powered Kubmai-ji operal ion

byhe Soviets could have aboutuclear powered submarines.

Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion

lthough we have no /Inn evidence, wc estimate that the USSK has beenin tbe development and testing of aircraft nuclear propulsion (ANP)and sub-systems for some time. We believe that at any time the USSR coulduclear testbed with at least one nuclear power unit providing awful thrust during some phase of therototype reactor system suitable for subsonic cruise propulsion on nuclear heat alone could become availableut it would4 before reliable reactor systems could begin to become available for operational use.1applications of ANP wouldong test and development program, and we estimaterototype will not be achieved until

NUCLEAR ELECTRIC POWER REACTORS

'ThetChief u! titaii, JnUHIxcucr.in Director for Intel lincnce, Joint Shift; amiin lo Hi" Secretary of DcfciiHO forhtcr-JUOfu; art wit acreo with ihe firstof4.am!Unit Uic USUI!ran ciieobciI Inpilot Uy development .ind tcaUntt afcom poll en's nncl(orind tin: afui

nuclear propuUlou of tubtonic aircraft could b* tiritlliiblp lo the Soviet*?

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he USSK is exploring the advantages of various types of power reactors in an effort to obtain competitive nuclear power and is constructing several large plants. It is also certain that they will fail by at least two years to reach the objectives laidwnheir sixth live-yeai plan However, Uiey have made consid orublc progress, and it is estimated that they willlectrical megawatts IKMW) of installed nuclear generating; capacity

CONTROLLED THERMONUCLEAR REACTIONS

oviet research on controlledreactions appears to have begun ineriod, and the present scope of its program is comparable to and almostar with that of the US and UK. This program could be successful inontrolled thermonuclear reaction as soon as any other group in the world, but the production of useful energy cannot be expectedong time.

FISSIONABLE MATERIALS PRODUCTION Cranium Ore

he availability of substantialore reserves within the Soviet Bloc and particularly the USSR indicates that the amount of uranium ore production is limited only by the investment the Soviets wish to make in the program and notcarcity of exploitable ore deposits. The exploitation of these resources is being steadily expanded. We estimate that0 metric tons of recoverable uranium will be minedf whichetric tons will come from the USSR andetric tons from the Satellites. These amounts are in excess ol that required to support the current estimates ofmaterials production

e have Ann evidence that there are gaseous diffusion plants atnd Tomsk which have been In

CRET

ojiemtion since thehird plant, near Angarsk, may have gone into operation during the first halfhere is evidence of continuingof the capacities of these three

estimate that the Soviets willthe equivalent0yhis cumulative amount willtog.nresentscumulative production atuphe actualup1 could range withinthe stated values, with even greaterafter that year/

Plutonium Equivalent '

nrtched.

'Id order to accept tlie .Miniate or cumulative productionFigure li the Assistant Chief of Naval Operation* for InteluEcnee,of the Navy, find* that he wouM hare to accept major factor* ol Soviet capability3 which are In hi* opinion notupported by available evidence. These factors include: ta) InlUal opernUon (late* ol newb) degree- of enrichment and depletion ofproduced, (e) useew diffusionand new equipment, und (di over-all plant efficiency. However, lie believes that the assumption that un Improved technology and improved plant efficiency have been developed and Incorporated In new plant* installed duringonautent with known Soviet tech-noloCcal'. inl Chief of Naval Operation* for Intel Uijeiiee. Department of the Navy. believe* thai the lower limit* of the estimated value? lor the rumutaUvc productionre the more nearly correct. "The production of plutonium and all otherneed isotope* In of uecewdty estimated collcelrrcly in term* of equiralent quantities ot plutonium.

eriod,put plutonium productionoperation at sites located inof Kyshtyin. Tomsk, andKrasnoyarsk. We have evidence of continuing expansion at these sites.

estimate that the Sovietproduction of plutoniumhaveotal of aboutbyhis amount willhave increased to something0 kg. bynresents theproduction athe actual production upcould range from one-third tostated values, with even greaterpresent after that year."that as muchfplutonium equivalentbe in the form of tritium upwith this percentageafter that date.'

^cpreseff

uie most probable vwue plutonium production, for planning purposesrams ol tritium in considered equal to one kilogram of plutonium

Soviets probably had strongincentives to process fully allore. However, if this courseandstimate Iscorrect, the actualof plutonium equivalent wouldgreater than the most prob-

able values indicated other hand, |

a re-

Tab!

)ie minimumamoiints to about one-third of the stated values.

estimates of the Sovietmaterial production made inhave not materially altered,information obtained overyear has increased our confidenceestimated Soviet production

NUCLEAR WEAPONS Test Program

Soviet nuclear weaponprogram has growngreat progress in weaponsand included the test of aof devices from whichplanners can draw inrequirements. Soviet testsconducted with yields ranging1 kiloton (KT) tomegatons (MT).l

[were conductedTarkedin their test program and wasdesigned to exploit, in the faceossible test ban. the several avenues of investigation which emerged fromtost series We have evidencethat some relatively low-yield tests were conducted by the USSR

reliminary analyses of theSoviet tests conductedoncertedcontinued

nuclear (TN) devices! Yields8 MT were achieved,/

The Soviets further developed economical low-yield (less thanT) weapons possibly for air defense or tactical use.

[Vuclear Weapons Capabilities

o direct information is available on the specific nuclear weapons types in the USSR stockpile The estimate of Soviet nuclear weapons development potential shown inas been based on data acquired in connection with thenown Soviet tests,

Some of

e weapon designs listed have been de

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rived from analysis or specific tests. Others represent projections oftechniques and the estimated status of Soviet nuclear weapons

nndehe Soviets have theto produce thermonuclearwith weights andounds

nese same devices could be usea in bombs ir additional weight is allowed for the bomb casing. The

Soviets could also liavc available9 fission weapons with yields of from one toTariety of weights and dimensions. If no further nuclear testing occurred, these capabilities could only be marginally improved. However, with continued unlimited testing the Soviets could improve the fissionableeconomy or these weapons, increase the maximum yield, and develop still further weapons toide variety of military requirements.

In theeriod, we do notthe advancement of Soviet nuclear weapon development to bc as rapid as in the past, since we believe that they havetate of the art where major improvements in perforrnance are difficult to achieve.

Although no major changes have been made in the Soviet weapons development capabilities from those estimated in. analyses of Uic Soviet tests8 indicate thatP

Nuclear Weapons Stockpiling

We believe that extensive long-range plansispersed assembly andsystem were under way at least as earlyhe development andof these long-range plans have been closely integrated with the growth of Soviet nuclear weaponcapacity, and the design andof the physical facilities have paralleled specific requirementsfrom developing nuclear weapon designs.

We believe that at least threeassembly and stockpile sites were built by, and possibly are operated by, the Ministry of Medium Machine Build-

ur knowledge of the location and nature or storage facilities available to the military is confined principally to two types of operational storage sites located at airfields or Long Range Aviation. Wc estimate that, in addition to these sites,

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facilities for nuclear weapons storage exist at several naval airfields andof the Tactical Aviation. Although no nuclear weapon storage facilities have been identified at naval surface facilities or co-located with ground force units, we believe that appropriate storagefor them probably exist.

AUOCATION OF FISSIONABLE MATERIALS

have insufficient evidence toa firm estimate of the Sovietby number, by type, byor otherwise. Accordingly, insuch an estimate we are forced toourscssnients ofmilitary policy and strategy andestimates of the types of weaponand missions which mightweapons wholly or in part.

derive illustrative weaponwe have combined our specificof Soviet development and produc-

"Thc Assistant Chief ul Naval Operations forDepartment ol the Navy, believes that the range of possible Soviet nuanUUtttvcto weapons stockpiles Is so broad that, in view of the status of available intelligence on subject (as Indicated In, an estimate of "possible allocations" Is unrealistic and of doubtful usefulness Therefore, he does not concur with the general methodologyto derive this section or with the UIui-trattve allocation*.he Assistant Chief ot SUA lor Intelligence.of lhe Army, does not concur with the methodoloftT employed to derive this section ot with the "illustraUve allocations' (paragraphn view ot the Insufficiency of evidence on this subject las Indicated In. he considers that the "Illustrative allocations" are merely highly speeulaUve pnsKlbUUies selected arbitrarily from an almost Infinite number of alternative choices. At best such theorizing from unsupported conjecture is unrealistic and or doubtful value; Itigh riskadvertent mlsuso, for example, In briefings fur budgetary orpurposes, leading to the danger of miscalculation by those responsible for national security.

tion of nuclear weapon delivery systems, studies of probable targets for nuclear weapon systems, the estimatedof fissionable materials, andinformation on stockpilingand doctrine for the use of nuclear weapons. All of the above factors are subject to appreciable margins of error.

y varying the number of high-yield weapons allocated to the Long-Range Aviation (LRA) we have arrived at two alternative allocations.ntails greater emphasis on weapons for support of ground forces and air defense, andlaces dominanton long range strike forces. Inhe total number of weapons is. Forhere would beigh-yield weapons for the LRA and for missilesof employment against the US. For Alternative B, there wouldigh-yield weapons for these uses. Inhe number of weapons variesotal oforithigh-yield weapons for the LRA and for missiles capable of employment against the US,otal oforithigh-yield weapons for these uses. Considering the estimated availability of fissionable materials and the level of Soviet nuclear weapons technology, we believe that at present the USSRpossesses sufficient nuclear weapons toajor attack by its long range striking forces, including sufficient nuclear warheads for all of its operational submarine launched missiles and ground launched ballistic missiles. range and greater. At present theof fissionable material will limit the

number of nuclear weapons available for air defense and tactical uses. Thiswill be considerably alleviated bv

INTERNATIONAl ATOMIC AID ANO PROGRAM

The Soviet Union apparently has two objectives behind her oilers of material and technical aid to other nations throughout the world. The Soviets have used their aid and exchange program to improve and tighten their relationship with Bloc nations whileubstantial degree of control over the atomic energy activities in theseIn the offers to the Free World nations, the objective has been largely one of propaganda.

There is little doubt that the Soviet Union has the technical capability tothe offers of aid that have been made. Promises of equipment, radioisotopes, and basic technical training to the Satellites have been largely fulfilled. Offers to the non-Bloc countries, however, have been largelyl-lateral basis, and neither Egypt nor Yugoslaviaeactor in operation at present Sovietin exchange conferences with the free world appears to be slanted toward propaganda purposes and collection of technical information on western atomic energy developments.

ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF THE SOVIET ATOMIC ENERGY PROGRAM "

e estimate that the approximate cumulative cost of the Soviet nuclearthroughas been overillion rubles including aboutillion for plant and equipment and aboutillion for operating expenses. Totalhave been less than l'v. ofgross national product in recent years. In monetary terms, Sovietin plant and equipment formaterials production has beenf that of the US, but because of estimated low process efficiencies the estimated Soviet plant capacities arevery much smaller. These and other cost estimates must be considered as first approximations and are subject to wide margins of error; however, it is felt that they adequately reflect generaland relations.

"Tho Assistant Chief or Naval OperaUons forDepartment of the Navy, does notIn the economic section because it is basedethod of cost analysis that he does not consider can be applied lo tho USSR fissionable materials estimate.

Original document.

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